Green Tea and Its Effects on Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease

Our world is comprised of thousands of cultures but one thing that unites all of them is - tea. It is a very important part of meals of many cultures since ancient ages. Besides its taste and refreshing nature, tea is also proven effective to cure and prevent several diseases and their symptoms. There are a number of teas that are recognized and used by people worldwide. The main types of tea are green tea, white tea, black tea, and oolong tea. Today you can easily find them on store shelves, as well as many new options that are hybrid in nature and infused with various flavors by the manufacturers. Some people like to surprise their taste buds with different flavors of teas, while others choose to stick with conventional ones.

More and more people are adding green tea to their daily regimen or diet for its unmatched health benefits. Green tea is proven effective for strengthening brain functions, burning fat, lowering risks of cancer, reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, improving dental health, preventing stroke, checking cardiovascular diseases, and reducing the risk of obesity, just to name a few.

In this article, we will discuss the various effects of green tea on cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and coronary heart disease.

Green Tea and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of diseases that affect the heart, blood vessels (arteries and veins) and blood circulation. The most common CVDs include: ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke, hypertensive heart disease, etc.

During the last decade, the coronary heart diseases and stroke have remained on the top of major causes of deaths throughout the world. In fact, heart disease and stroke are two of the top killers among both women and men in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies from a heart attack about every 90 seconds, and from stroke, about every 4 minutes.

“There is absolutely nothing that will save both your time and health as well as prevention,” says Dr. Jeremy Brown, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Office of Emergency Care Research. Studies indicate that making healthy lifestyle choices, such as a diet rich in protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fat, as well as regular physical activity can help prevent the medical emergencies from happening in the first place. Another good thing is that lowering your risk of getting a cardiovascular disease may be as easy as consuming green tea.

Green tea has been shown to significantly lower the risk of heart diseases. According to research, the aromatic tea has the ability to lower the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These actions are believed to be responsible for the reduced risks of deaths from heart diseases and stroke for those who consume green tea regularly.

Various studies have been conducted across the globe to prove the possible links between green tea and cardiovascular diseases:

A Japanese research involved study of 40530 adults who consumed more than 5 cups of green tea every day. Through this study, it was revealed that these people had a 26% lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke, and a 16% lower risk of death from all other causes than people who consumed less than a cup of green tea daily.

A meta-analysis is a statistical technique that is used to pool the results of several similar studies in order to provide an overall estimate of all the effect of risk of interests. In 2011, through such a meta-analysis of 13 studies of green tea consumers and 5 studies of black tea consumers, it was found that people who consumed more green tea had 28% of lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who consumed less green tea.

Another 2011 meta-analysis of 14 random, placebo-controlled clinical trials revealed that green tea significantly lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Green Tea and Stroke

Your morning cup of green tea can do more than just give you an extra kick of energy. In today’s fast paced sedentary lifestyle, heart diseases have become increasingly common all across the world. Stress, lack of physical exercise and fast food culture are the main culprits responsible for causing heart related problems.

Studies have shown that drinking green tea every day can slash down your risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy. A study published in the esteemed journal Stroke: A Journal of the American Heart Association found through various clinical findings and research, that apart from healthy diet and exercise, green tea consumption can lower your risk of having a stroke, a common heart disease that accounts for more than five million deaths worldwide every year.

According to a Japanese study, people who consumed green tea have 32% lower risk of having a stroke than those who did not consume tea. It was also studied that the consumption of green tea had dramatically reduced the risk of intra cerebral hemorrhage, one of the main causes of stroke.

Studies also show that green tea has various benefits similar to that of coffee. A natural component called Chlorogenic Acid found in both green tea and coffee is responsible for their heart boosting and stroke preventing benefits.

In addition to chlorogenic acid, the heart healthy benefits of green tea are also due to the presence of flavonoids or catechins in it. These compounds are very effective antioxidants that help in fighting the harmful free radicals in our body. Free radicals are those alien components that cause the oxidation and aging of free cells in various parts of our body. This oxidation results in various imbalances in our blood and organs, and causes illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases and stroke. The flavanoids present in green tea guard the walls of capillaries and heart cells against these damage causing free radicals. These flavanoids have various anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombogenic effects, which in turn helps in the prevention of heart diseases like stroke. Thus regular consumption of green tea reduces the incidence of stroke.

Another cohort study further confirmed a protective effect of green tea against stroke. 5910 women who were not involved in the acts of drinking alcohol and smoking, were followed for 4 years. The result shows that the people who consumed at least 1.5 cups of green tea per day were at a significantly lower risk of having a stroke.

Green Tea and Coronary Heart Disease (Ischemic Heart Disease, or IHD)

Several well designed studies have demonstrated significant effects of reduced risks of heart diseases in consumers who take green and black tea:

In a Japanese study, 8522 men and women were followed for 12 years. It was concluded that people who consumed a minimum of 4 cups of green tea per day had 58% lower risk of getting heart diseases than people who consumed only 1.3 cups of green tea per day. It also revealed that an increase in daily tea consumption of 3 cups has the ability to decrease the risk of heart attack by 11%.

Another Japanese study demonstrated that green tea consumption was associated with a lower incidence of coronary artery disease, where plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. If the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart muscle is reduced or blocked, angina (chest pain) or a heart attack can occur. The encouraging results show that the more green tea people consume, the less likely they are to suffer from the death-causing disease.

Clinical trials and studies are uncovering more and more of the health benefits of green tea. In addition to its many health promoting effects, such as its ability to boost immune system, improve digestive health and reduce the risk of cancer, this miracle beverage has been shown to also have beneficial properties in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When consumed regularly and wisely, green tea may improve your cardiovascular health and help prevent top killers such as stroke and coronary heart disease.

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